YouTube blocks Russian media channels from generating revenue over Ukraine invasion

Move comes after Facebook banned Russian media outlets from monetising their content

Bevan Hurley
Saturday 26 February 2022 20:21
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Ukraine: What is the story behind the crisis with Russia?

YouTube suspended several Russian media channels from generating revenue on the video service on Saturday due to the “extraordinary” invasion of Ukraine.

The banned accounts include state-funded media outlet RT, and follows a similar move by Facebook owner Meta Platforms.

In a statement, YouTube said: “In light of extraordinary circumstances in Ukraine ... we’re pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetise on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions.” 

Read full coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

YouTube, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, had come under pressure to ban Russia propaganda from monetising content during the Russian invasion.

Earlier on Saturday Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and Information Policy, Oleksandr Tkachenko, wrote to YouTube to request it block some Russian media from its platform.

“They are tools of Russian propaganda to justify, support and evade sanctions for their illegal and outrageous invasion of Ukraine,” Mr Tkachenko wrote.

“We are hoping for your support.”

On Friday, Facebook parent company Meta said that it had restricted Russian state media’s ability to earn money on the social media platform

“We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetising on our platform anywhere in the world,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Meta’s security policy, said on Twitter.

It had earlier announced a “Special Operations Center” that would look for problematic content, and that its teams would be watching for attempts to “abuse our platform”.

The Russian government had earlier placed restrictions on its services after it refused their order to stop using fact checkers and content warning labels on its platforms.

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